The 2017 Haut-Bailly was cropped at 28hl/ha (40hl/ha on non-frozen parcels and 2hl/ha on frosted parcels) and includes co-fermented Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is unlikely to contain any vin de presse this year, unlike in 2016, and it is matured in 50% new oak. There is a pH of 3.74 with 13.2° alcohol. It has an attractive and quite opulent bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of crushed stone and briary, a light oyster shell influence. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin but there is good backbone here, quite “solid” for Haut-Bailly and it will need to just soften the edges during its élevage. With moderate length and a very attractive graphite aftertaste, this Haut-Bailly will require five or six years in bottle but will repay the patient wine-lover. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(May 2018)
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The 2017 Haut-Bailly is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Very deep garnet-purple colored, it has a wonderfully spicy nose of cinnamon stick, cloves, anise and fenugreek with core of roses, warm blueberries, black forest cake and black raspberries plus hints of underbrush and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied with firm, ripe, grainy tannins, it has oodles of freshness and great finesse, continuing bright and energetic on the long, minerally finish. Rating: 94-96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com(Apr 2018)
This reminds me of 2001 more than most wines I've tasted, and perhaps it's no surprise that a vintage that required a skilful touch and a belief in the power of elegance should do well at Haut-Bailly. It's hugely pure and restrained, with great aromatics and extremely well placed bilberry, cassis and mulberry fruits. The tannins are fine and poised, set against cigar box with touches of charcoal and slate. They build through the palate, but remain slightly austere on the finish, with a bounce to them that suggests they are going to age beautifully. They kept the vineyard team for three weeks in July, because the vines kept throwing out green shoots after the June rains. Harvested 13-29 September, the vines were around two weeks ahead all the way through the season. The yield was 28hl/ha overall, but only 2hl/ha on the frosted parts, compared to 40hl/ha for the unaffected areas, 50% of production going into the grand vin. Malo was finished by the end of November, but the vats are still separated and there will be final blend in May 2018 (which is what they always do). 4% of Cabernet Franc finishes the blend given below. Drinking range: 2026 - 2042 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)
The Grand Vin 2017 Château Haut Bailly is a beauty. This estate benefited from being one of the highest in the Pessac-Léognan region and escaped too much damage from the April frosts. As always, the wine has a more elegant, feminine style in its perfumed floral, cassis, and black raspberry aromas and flavors. With medium to full-bodied richness, a tight, vibrant texture, ripe tannin, and a great finish, it’s one of the most ethereal, elegant wines in the vintage. Rating: 92-95 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Apr 2018)
50% new oak. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Very dark with purple rim. Oozes elegance on the nose, subtle dark fruit, nicely dusty/mineral and a touch of graphite and a slight and attractive herbaceous note. More fragrant with air. Texture is fine like layers of paper, tannins are dry and refined. Lightness of touch but really persistent. Juicy, gentle. Very lovely, the graphite elegance, freshness and fruit go on to the end. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2018)
A firm and silky red with a medium to full body, a solid center palate and a long and integrated finish. Very fine, polished and refined. Creamy tannins. Hints of bitter orange. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2018)
The blend here is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The fruit was picked from September 13th to the 29th. The blend is noteworthy for the inclusion of fruit from youthful Petit Verdot vines, here in the grand vin for only the second or third year, says Véronique Sanders, who is very happy with the way these young vines are performing. The yield overall was 28 hl/ha, but 40 hl/ha from the non-frosted vines, and just 2 hl/ha from the frosted vines (all the latter was declassified into the third wine). This has a really impressive nose, filled with dark red cherry scents, immediately perfumed, floral, but cut with notes of black bean, cocoa bean and vanillin oak, but as with the second wine these complexities swirl around behind that floral perfume. A very confident and broad palate, showing real density here, but with a sinewy substance, concentrated, focused, with an elegant poise and a firm bed of ripe, fine, tightly grained tannins. This is hugely impressive, a striking wine, rich and yet so contained, taut and focused. Huge potential here. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2018)
Château Haut Bailly
The now very reliable Pessac-Léognan estate of Haut Bailly was revived after its purchase by Belgian Daniel Sanders. He'd married into the Bordeaux wine trade in 1919, and formed a determination to buy Haut Bailly after tasting their awesome 1945. There was much work to do upon buying the estate, some of the vines were still ungrafted for instance, and the renovation was still not complete by the time Daniel's son took over in 1979. Véronique Sanders represents the latest generation to run the estate, albeit under the benign ownership of American Robert Wilmers who bought Haut Bailly in 1998 bringing more much needed investment, the fruits of which can be seen in the high quality of today's wines. The vineyards are planted to a fairly typical "Left Bank" mix of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.